Claudius “Gloude” Boatman – Separating Man from Myth

It seems to me that most people looking into Claudius Boatman, who was born in France and lived in Pennsylvania during Revolutionary times, are people, like me, interested in finding out something about my ancestors.  Descendants who’ve heard stories, or amateur genealogists and family history buffs who have researched back through the relatives until they’ve found this colorful character.

Once we find Claudius in Pennsylvania in the 1700’s, there is a wealth of information and research to sort out ~ A few little known facts, for starters:

  • Most of Claudius’ children were born in New York.
  • The Boatman family, after arrival in the Colonies, lived first in New Rochelle, but spent 12 to 17 years near Warwick.
  • Claudius did not live to 113 or even 103, but most likely died at the age of about 91.
  • Claudius settled, in Pennsylvania, first near present day Danville, then in Buffalo Valley area near Derrstown during the conflicts with the loyalists and Indians during the Revolution, before moving to what is now Lycoming county.

We live in a wonderful time for genealogy and family history, and have so much information available to us – it’s a great time to sort out the fact from the fiction.  No offense is intended but while Claudius and family have been the subject of much wonderful research, some researchers of the past didn’t have the data available today. Others, perhaps, didn’t have an understanding of the times or area to examine and make sense of his life.  We’ve been left with conflicting information; I hope to make sense of it all by putting Claudius’ life in an historical as well as a genealogical perspective.

I would know nothing if others hadn’t done so much work before me and both preserved and shared their information ~ both those long gone and my contemporaries of today! Their work has helped me immensely, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Hopefully this site will help other cousins who have a yearning to know more about Claudius Boatman. I hope you’ll share, too, and source this site so that others can find it.

Here, I’m starting with what I know – and my hope is that other family and researchers will enthusiastically chime in and add to what I’ve started here. Yep, there’s a “catch.”  I want to share what I’ve found, in the hope you’ll share back!  If you’re a Pennsylvania Boatman and can take photos or share newspaper clippings, I’d love to hear from you. If any cousins have a dusty old box of stuff somewhere in a garage or attic, dig it out and go through it…let’s share and question, and argue points…and leave no possible evidence unturned.

If you’re looking for definitive answers on Claudius Boatman, you’ll find most of my information very well sourced…in family history, what isn’t sourced is always doubtful, so keep that in mind, as well.  You’ll probably find as many questions here as you’ll find answers.  I hope you’ll join in the discussion – two heads are better than one, and I don’t know how many descendants there are of Claudius Boatman, but it must number into the thousands!

Let’s take Claudius out of his genealogical “box” and find the man behind the myth!  Let’s dispel what can’t possibly be true and search for what is, and put together a comprehensive portrait of our ancestor. My greatest hope, here, is that we’ve (all the collective genealogists and cousins who’ve shared over the years) started to put together the facts of Claudius’ life in a way that he, himself, would recognize.

My greatest fear: That someone reading this, knowing more than myself, might read it and think, “Boy, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about!”  If I’ve gone astray, anywhere, please update me – I’d consider it a blessing to be corrected rather than travel forward in ignorance!

By the way, Claudius Boatman is my 5th Great Grandfather, and I know I “share” him with hundreds of descendants, perhaps thousands – hello, cousins, and welcome! Take what you need from here – and if you have some additional information, or corrections, please leave it here, and again, please source this site as you do. I’d like every Boatman descendant to be able to visit!

I’ve had a lot of fun researching Claudius, and am pleased to share everything I’ve learned, much of it due to other researchers before me – please feel free to use anything on this site – I do ask you to source it, though, so others may find it. And please, share what you know in the same spirit this has been shared – I welcome all thoughts and discussion. mvkirby – I can be emailed directly at

87 thoughts on “Claudius “Gloude” Boatman – Separating Man from Myth

  1. I appreciate the thanks – but it was my pleasure and I truly do hope this will become a start at collaboration of all of us Boatman families, whether or not we carry the name. I like to think we all carry a bit of Claudius’ determination and spirit as well as his genes.

  2. You have what support we can offer. I like your picture of Pine Creek Gorge, by the way. Have you been to PA Grand Canyon near Wellsboro? Beautiful area! Saw my first bear in the wild there – ran in front of us as we drove across a remote road – looking for some family roots 🙂

    • Dale, I’ve never been to PA at all – but I do hope to be able to visit some time in the near future – after so much reading and writing and thinking about Claudius, it seems like a necessary “pilgramage!”

      I had forgotten, but our family went through the mountains of PA on a vacation when I was a teenager – the whole trip is something of a blur!

      • Funny, Harv was just asking me if you had been to PA and if you know about the annual Boatman reunion at Picture Rocks, PA every Father’s Day. We took his Dad one year. They are from Claudius line but a branch that went in a different direction than Harv’s. What fun it would be if we could be there in PA at the same time and show you where we have been and discovered. I want to go to Buffalo Valley and explore there now – have been in that area but did not know that is where Claudius first lived in PA. Every time we go to PA we go to visit family so it is hard to pull away for such things but sometimes we squeeze some family history excursions in 🙂

    • Hello Harvey – I have to approve the first comment, then after that you should be able to comment freely – that way “spam” doesn’t appear. I apologize – I somehow missed your comment and just saw it today, a month later. You should be free to comment publicly on anything on the site from now on.

  3. Thank you. My best friend started me on this path in February although I have to confess that she’s done most of the work. Growing up, I was told a similar story to yours, that I had an ancestor that came from France and served as an aide-de-camp to Lafayette.

    Here’s how I’m related to Claudius. My mother is Norma Boatman Heiny, daughter of Lester Howard Boatman, son of William Fleming Boatman. William Fleming Boatman is the son of Claudius who is the son of William, who is the son of Claudius and Esther.

    Now, William (not Willliam F.), married Nancy Agnes Cole. We’ve traced her family back to the 14th century in England. If you’re interested, I’ll be happy to share the info with you. It adds another layer to the family.

    • Karen, I’d love to take a peek at your tree! Are you on one of the online genealogy sites? I think I know quite a few people who would be very interested in knowing more about Nancy Agnes Cole, including me, although she wasn’t a direct ancestor of mine!

      • Also, you might help me clarify my tree, too. I have William Fleming Boatman married to Savilla Danley. Amongst their children, I have a Lester Boatman born Jun 1887 and died in 1891 (age 4, poor child) and then a Howard Lester Boatman – born 4 Jun 1891 (some records say born in 1890) and passed away 11 Nov 1942. Were there two Lesters or am I incorrect? or did your Grandfather just go by Lester? I’ve seen his name both ways, as Howard and as Lester…

        Thanks, Karen!

      • Hi! I’m on Ancestry and part of the tree is on my page and all of it is on my friend’s page since she started all this for me. But there is quite a bit of “the Cole girl” as we refer to her on my page. At least I think Susie put in there. Now, yes, Savilla was married to William Fleming Boatman. I don’t know if there were 2 Lesters or not. My grandfather was Lester Howard Boatman and he did die in 1942. My mother never mentioned another brother of her father named Lester but I’ll ask and also have Susie check it out.

        Just to tell you a little bit about “that Cole girl,’ she had several knights in her background, an Earl, an MP and I think it was a Duke. There is also a “Tudor woman” who Susie just located. Did you happen to watch the Tudors on HBO? If so, when Henry VIII wanted to get rid of Anne Bolyn, he accused her of having an affair with one of his knights. Well, as I like to say, that knight is mine via Nancy Agnes Cole.

    • Hi, Karen…
      My husband accidentally got rid of the link you sent me so that I could find out more about Nancy Cole. Is there any way you could send it to me, again? I’m also a descendant of William and Nancy. Thanks!

  4. How r u all related to Boatmans , I have a few things from the early boatmans and a lot of pics. my grandfather was William Grant Boatman

    • Hi Bob – how wonderful to hear, and I’m so glad you found Claude’s site!

      Claudius’ daughter, Mary “Polly” Boatman married Comfort Wanzer. They had one child that I know of, Elizabeth Wanzer, who married Rice Hamlin. One of their 10 children, Jacob Hamlin married Rebecca Stebbins and they moved to Michigan, where Jacob farmed and was a Methodist minister. Their son, Theodore Rice Hamlin was my great grandfather. He settled in Iowa, where I grew up.

      Bob, do you know which of Claudius’ children your Grandfather descended from?

      • William Grant Boatman was the son of Thomas Agustus Boatman,Thomas was the son of Thomas McHunter Boatman…His father was William Boatman(1787-1849)…Williams Father was Claudius Boatman…I am Delphine L.Boatman(Fravel)…Thomas A.was my Grandfather..Thomas M.was my Great Grandfather…William was my Great Great Grandfather…and Claudius was my Great Great Great Grandfather…My Father was Robert Owen Boatman..Wife was Edna Victoria Myers(Boatman)

      • Delphine, my apologies – I see you left this information some time ago, and I’m sorry to have been late in replying! All comments from you should be approved from now on, and the information is much appreciated!

    • Reply to Lori Lucas: It’s interesting that the Lucas line also comes into my mother’s, mother’s family. Anne Lucas (my Great Grandmother) married my Grandmother (Dutton) Marshall’s Father, William Dutton. She (Anne Lucas Dutton) was killed in a buckboard accident on the Woolrich road near where they lived, and just down the road from the home of my mother’s parents Minnie (Dutton) and Oscar Marshall. Not a “Boatman” family comment but yet another link across trees. Are you related to this Lucas line? If so, we’re cousins in two ways. My Boatman connection is direct from Claudius through William Boatman to Thomas Herndon Boatman, Thomas Augustus Boatman, Harvey Boatman Sr., Harvey Boatman Jr., to me Harvey 111.

  5. Hey, this is great! I just started on and the surprises – and the confusions! – never stop. I believe I too am a fifth great-granddaughter of Claudius/Claude/Glaud Boatman/Bauteman/Bouteman! But possibly with a bit more of the DNA than expected – it appears that my great-grandparents were actually related before they married – though five generations later and possibly from different maternal lines. Maybe someone can verify this or correct me if I’m wrong.

    From Claudius and first wife Marie (yes? Or was it Esther?) we have Jane Boatman b. 1761 who married James English. Their daughter Esther English married John Callahan. One of their sons, Oliver “Perry” Callahan, married Matilda Landis. Their son Andrew Ambrose Callahan b. 1868, married Nellie Mae Boatman, b. 1870.** One of their daughters, Lelia Addie Callahan, married Gordon Fair Furst, and their daughter, Barbara Ann Furst b. 1931, was my mother.

    Coming at it through the other maternal line – Claudius and Esther were parents of William Boatman b. 1787 (yes?), who married Agnes Nancy Cole. Their son John L Boatman, b. 1808, married Mary E Steele. Their son William S Boatman, b. 1838, married two women; with Emeline L Symonds he produced Nellie Mae Boatman, who married Andrew Ambrose Callahan, and so on from ** above.

    Now I’m not smart enough to determine the relationship between Andrew Ambrose and Nellie Mae but probably some very distant cousinship. Any other take on this?

    • Hey Rebecca,

      Although I did a little tracing of the English family, and a little of the Callahan (because some cousins of mine had both Callahan and Boatman lines) I think some of those lines are super well documented, and I’m not any expert in either…I took a quick peek, though, at a few trees, and it looks like you’re spot on.

      There are several people in Ancestry that are very reliable. When I compare a tree to mine, I’ll often look through the tree and look at the documentation on it – and I’ll often open up the citations and check the documentation – in “full view” on the right hand side of a census record, for instance, it shows who has already saved the record to their tree. If the record has been saved more than four or five times, there’s a little button for “more.” I’ll scan down the list and pick a few of the early savers and look at their trees.

      They are often the “innovative” thinkers who puzzled out the family years ago, and are most likely to be into some more hardcore genealogy…they may have a few more answers or even a wealth of information not available online about your particular lines…hopefully when people find hard to locate information, like wills, they’ll transcribe or scan them and publish them for everyone…

      You can easily tell the relationship to you in Ancestry: there’s a key on the overview page of each individual. I wonder if you went in to your tree and set either Andrew or Nellie Mae temporarily as the “home” person, if that key wouldn’t give the relationship of the other to the home person…I bet it would work if you’re curious. Your Esther is in my tree – my 1st cousin, 5x removed.

      So, just off the bat, you have at least three Boatman lines…and maybe others. Those relationship twists and turns, and often genetic “near” misses have always fascinated me. They tend to mess up a tree, too, if you’re not careful – all of a sudden you realize you have duplicate sets of families, one traced from one side and the other from another! You might know this, too, but there’s a “merge” key in ancestry.

      I always hope to trace down all the lines – it’s been my conviction that the Boatman’s often moved “en masse” to a new location, and without all the information, how else would I know, in a new area, who is a cousin, who is an in-law, who is someone remarried with a different last name!

      It’s a fascinating study, this Boatman family! My dad asked me “What, exactly, made Claudius so famous?” I think his story is a tragic one, overlaid with determination and grit – enough so that Meginness must have heard enough stories to document him – and preserve enough history so that Claudius and family didn’t sink into obscurity. It helped, too, that he had a lot of children and a lot of people looking for him! Welcome aboard!

      • Family tradition has an native american element in the line from Claudius. Has anyone discovered any documentation that shows where and when (IF) this came in?

      • Do you know which of Claudius’ lines? The reason I’m asking is that there is indication that Rebecca returned to her family pregnant, carrying a part Seneca child, before marrying Isaac Smee. I’ve seen rumours and postings from descendants, but have never seen any tree…if there was a child, did he/she remain a Boatman or was he adopted? If anyone knows about this, I’d love to have the family in my tree.

        If you’re really curious and a male Boatman, which it looks like you might be from your user name…there’s DNA testing, although I’ve never participated in it with any of my families. I’d be very curious about the Boatman family. If you ever decide to do this, let us know. Do you know which of Claudius’ sons you are from? If you don’t have a genealogy done yet, I’d be glad to help you get started or do some checking on it and see what I can find.

        I’ve come across a surprising amount of Native American in my daughter’s and son’s paternal (not Boatman) lines – one family knew, the other didn’t. In tracing, though, for the most part one wouldn’t even know unless someone noted it, or their was other evidence.

        Anyone out there know anything about this?

      • I am a Boatman male but for me the DNA won’t really help because I have confirmed Native American blood from my mother’s side of the family. My Grandfather and great-grandfather Boatman both claimed indian blood but I haven’t been able to find a confirmed link. The story about Rebecca has some credence as she was held captive for a brief period of time. Unfortunately, she is not in my direct line. Will keep searching. Thanks,

      • Just an idea – maybe post your great grandfather’s name and his wife’s if you have it, and your grandfather’s – perhaps someone visiting will know something…you can check back from time to time.

      • Claudius Sr then 3-Great Grandfather was William Boatman and wife Nancy Cole. Great, Great Grandfather Thomas McHurter Boatman and wife Barbara Emma Miller; Great grandfather was Thomas Augustus Boatman, and wife was Catherine Shaffer. His oldest son, Harvey C. Boatman Sr. was my grandfather. His wife was Effie Myers. Looking for where the native american relationship comes into the Boatman Line.

        Thanks for any information.

      • In response to the question regarding Native American ties to the family: I don’t believe it exists, at least not though the Glenn Boatman/Thomas A./ Thomas McHurter/ William / Claudius line. It would have to be though a maternal line, somewhere, I’d reckon. The only reason why I stated that was because I took a DNA test through, and even though I’m 45% Germanic/Franco blood, 15% Italian (must be my dad’s side, there), 12% Irish, 9% Scandinavian, 8% British, and the rest Russian and Eastern European (again, I blame my dad’s side, there, tee hee), there was not a single trace of Native American. I had a trace of Jewish blood, but not a drop of Native American. So, if a person who had Native American roots married someone else other than William, Thomas H., Thomas A. or Glenn, Sr., there could be Native American somewhere, but there’s none in my part of the line. I hope I’ve been of help.

      • Hi Rebecca. Are you the granddaughter of Glenn? Who actually had the DNA test done? Thanks much,
        Cuz Harvey Boatman III

      • Hi, cuz! Glenn Morris Boatman, Sr. is my grandfather. He was the father of my mom, Emalou. My family got me a DNA test for Christmas, and I found out that there was not a drop of Native American blood in my veins, contrary to what we were told. So, based upon my DNA test, there is no Native American on the Glenn Morris, Thomas Augustus, Thomas McHurter, William, Claudius Boatman line of the ancestry. 🙂

  6. All the comments are wonderful. It’s nice to know that there are other people as confused as I am. Is anyone a descendant of the second Claudius (born 1806) to William Boatman and Nancy Agnes Cole? Just for giggles, thought I’d look into joining the DAR. They’ve never had anyone apply who cites this particular Claudius as an ancestor and are questioning his relation to the first Claudius. I can’t believe all that I’m finding out that I never knew about my family. Has anyone been able to trace Claudius back to France. I have Nancy Cole back to the 13th century complete with Tudors, Plantagenets, lots of nobility, knights, beheadings, etc. It would be nice to find something about Claudius’ life in France – who his people are, where he came from, etc.

    • Karen, I came across some information on the DAR membership that cited Harvey Chester Boatman, brother of your Claudius; that would have proved the line from William to Claudius. Then, your Claudius has his mother living with him on the 1850 census, along with two of his sisters. You may be beyond this now, as it’s May…

      • Thank you. I haven’t done anything more about it just because of lack of time. But I’ll keep the information for this winter when I’m retired and have a little more time.

      • Hi, I just noticed this comment Karen. To my knowledge, Harvey Chester Boatman (my grandfather) did not have a brother named Claudius. Claudius Sr. was his (many great) grandfather. Claudius Jr. was at least 3 generations before Harvey Chester (Sr.) Harvey’s full brother was Glenn and his half brothers were Robert, Tom, William, Perry, James and Harry. Sorry I didn’t pick this up earlier.

      • Actually, HC Boatman was my grandfather and he didn’t have a brother Claudius. Claudius Jr was a few generations before HCB senior. Harvey Boatman III

      • Hi. Harvey Boatman’s full-blooded brother was Glenn Morris Boatman, Sr. They were the sons of Thomas Augustus and Catherine Shaffer Boatman. The rest of the siblings were the children of Thomas Augustus and Emma Louise.

    • OH, my GOSH! This is completely awesome! I also can trace my ancestry back to William and Nancy. Could you please share some information with me? My mother was the former Emalou Boatman, daughter of Glenn Morris Boatman, SR, son of Thomas Augustus Boatman, son of Thomas McHurter Boatman, son of William Boatman, son of Claudius Boatman. I always wonder more about the maternal sides of the families, and what you have about Nancy Cole completely intrigues me!

      • Hi,
        I’m the grandaughter of Lester Boatman, son of William Fleming Boatman, son of Claudius Boatman, son of William (husband of Nancy Agnes), and then our first Claudius. I’ll send you the info to access Nancy’s info this evening when I get home from work.

      • That’s wonderful! Thanks, Karen. Wow, as I look at the replies, I think I need to set up something for each branch of the family – I had always intended to expand some on each of Claudius’ children…but while I didn’t want to go with a strictly genealogical site and wanted communication and access for everyone, especially those who don’t have access to a paid site, this has gone a bit beyond my expectations.

        I want to note to all family members, if you’re willing to have me put you in touch with someone here that you’re interested in speaking to, please let me know!

        I can privately view your email addresses once you’ve given them to me by signing up, and so could do so without making information public.

      • I’ve noticed more than one Rebecca has commented here! I love seeing her name still remembered and passed down through the family!

        Rebecca was my first choice as a name for my daughter, although at the time I didn’t know about Rebecca Boatman. My ex was dead set against, though. I still think it is one of the most beautiful names.

    • My e-mail address is
      It’s fun to tell my children that someone in the family got scalped — and lived — AND that her name was “Rebecca” as well! One of them said, “Wow, Mom, it must run in the family, cause you’ve survived so much!” That made me smile inwardly.

      • I must say that my daughter Rachel has been MOST upset with me for NOT naming her “Esther”. I told her that when SHE has a daughter she can do so… 🙂

    • Hey, Karen,,, would you please send me another invite to see that info? Before I had a chance to really look at it, my husband deleted that info off of our e-mail! I was so upset… but hey, there’s always now to look, I guess. Thanks!

  7. I too am of the Claudius Boatman tree. I started my research in 2003. This is what I found. Take what you would like. Much reiterates what has already been stated on this wonderful site. Have fun!

    Grandpa Carl Mills Boatman was born November 22, 1884 in Logan Township, Dearborn County Indiana to Margaret (Grahms) and Mark Mills Boatman. Middle names were often used to track maternal relationship by inserting the mother’s maiden name. Hence, the name “Mills” was passed from Mark’s grandparents, James and Anna (Mills) Boatman (generation #3), to James Mills Boatman Jr. (#4) to Mark M. (#5) to Grandpa Carl Mills (generation #6). James Boatman Sr. was raised by his grandfather, Claudius, the progenitor of our line of American Boatman descendants.

    Claudius Boatman was born in France circa 1715 (Alsace-Lorraine area). He stepped foot on American soil prior to 1747. “Boatman” is a direct translation of “Le Battelier”. Boutman, Bouteman, Boudeman and Budman are also anglizations of the name. Claudius, a Huguenot, came to these shores to escape the persecution of Protestants. Claudius was a Revolutionist and records show his enlistment of service as 1759. He is listed as one of the “Sons of the American Revolution” and is considered to be “Gloud Bouteman” during the French and Indian War. Claudius was a “fifer” of the American Revolution under Captain Thomas Robinson’s “Company of Rangers”. He and his son, Claudius Boatman Jr. (#2), are listed in the Pennsylvania Archives service record with “Rangers on the Frontier” under Captain Robert Reynold’s Company between the years of 1778 to 1783. Claudius participated in the settlement of the town of New Rochelle, Pennsylvania. Early writings of New Rochelle show that the name “Boudeman” was changed to Boatman. Claudius lost many family members to the John Lee Massacre near Winfield, Pennsylvania, August, 1782. His daughter, Rebecca (Smee to be), was scalped but was a Boatman survivor. Claudius was granted a warrantee of 300 acres of land in the County of Northumberland on July 1, 1784. The 1810 Federal Census records Claudius as still farming in Mifflin Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania at 87 years of age. He died May 18, 1819.

    Claudius Jr. (generation #2) died in 1787, leaving a wife and two young sons, Robert and James. James (generation #3) is also listed as a Captain in the minutes of the Pennsylvania Militia. James and wife Anna Mills migrated down the Ohio River in 1801 to settle and farm in the Cincinnati area. In turn, his son James Mills Jr. (#4), with wife Elizabeth ventured on to settle in Dearborn County Indiana. They invested in land and raised their family. Mark Mills (generation #5) was born in 1843. His brother Nathan was born a twin in 1849. Mark’s son Carl (generation #6) was also born a twin in 1884 to a sister Grace. Grandpa Carl also had two older sisters, Minnie and Nora, and a younger brother, Roscoe.

    Grandpa Carl became restless as his forefathers had. He headed west and began working for custom threshing crews, eventually bought his own piece of equipment and worked from place to place, crew to crew. His work brought him north. He met Mary Glock at Hampden North Dakota. Mary and her sister Ida were in charge of a cook car and fed various threshing crews in the area. Mary also played piano in a community band that weekly entertained the prairie families and played piano for the Hampden Methodist Church. Carl soon became one of Hampden’s pioneers.

    • Hi Deb,

      Thanks so much for sharing your history – you have a wonderful way with words! It’s very interesting that you used the word “restless” when referring to your Grandpa Carl and his forefathers – Part of it may have been the times they lived in as America was settled and the lands opened up, and part of it the seeking of new opportunities, but my family, too, has made a move, either large or small in almost every generation!

      Bear with me, because I have a few questions, if you don’t mind sharing a bit more?

      a) it seems that there are two views of James Boatman – one that he was the son of the senior Claudius and one that he was the son of the Jr. It seems your research indicates he was the son of Claudius, Jr.?

      b) if you looked under the Westchester, NY tab, you can see that I’ve found very few references to Claudius – do you have any other sources of information you’ve found that you’re willing to share?

      c) I noticed you indicated the Alsace-Lorraine area of France for Claudius’ birth – I’m bursting with curiousity – have you found some source or has it been information passed down through your family that pinpoints this area? I’ve seen indications that Claudius was born in that area, but so far I haven’t been able to come up with any “proof.”

      d) You indicated that Claudius “stepped foot on American soil prior to 1747” (very nice poetic phrasing!) The earliest record I’ve been able to find was 1755. Anything you can share with us?

      I hope you’ll be able to check back and follow up; my curiousity is really piqued. Thanks, Deb!

      • What is your email addy?? Like I said, I started this a decade ago. I was handed a piece of paper from my aunt (married to a Boatman) with the descendent line and that was my start. It was given to her from my Dad’s great aunt. I have a lengthier version of what I found with references. I have no problem finding my errors and correcting them, either. Let’s rock!!

  8. Hi, I am also seeking as to which and where the native blood lines come into play in my line. I am descendant of Claudius Boatman. My Dad was Dale R. Boatman. My grandfather, Robert O. Boatman. Great Grandfather Thomas Augustus, Great-Great Grandfather Thomas McHurter Boatman. I’ve not had much opportunity to spend with my Dad’s side of the family growing up, though I always wished I could have very greatly.
    I am Dale’s youngest boy, Cody A. Boatman. I was adopted out at age 8, though, in 2009, I had legally changed my name back to my rightful name. (long story). All of my life, from my Mom and the bits of time I did get to spend with my Dad and see my Gram and Pap (Robert O. and Edna V.), I was always told that it was Cherokee heritage. I recall seeing being shown and image when I was very young. I believe, to my very vivid recollection, it would have been a powder-flash image. Though no one seems to recall ever seeing this image and no one seems to know of it’s where-abouts, if such a thing did exist. I can and could and plan on sketching it out with good amounts of detail.
    As of two years ago, I was told that it could be ‘Cheyenne’ and not so long ago, I was told by Harvey Boatman, though these signs he mentioned are unclear, as he had also stated, that the heritage may point to the ‘Susquehannock.’ Which kind of confuses me a bit. I’ve been a bit out of sorts with the unclear information in regards to all of these things. I know a good bit on the history of the Cherokee tribes, and I don’t believe they were in this area, though I’ve read that there were some that went out and set out on their own, which, yet, leaves alot to be speculated on.
    I do not know much about the Cheyenne tribes. I’ve not researched them much at all, though I plan to. So as to that bit of hear-say information, I cannot clarify that in any way other than what I was told in conversation with my Uncle Kenny.
    As far as the ‘Susquehannock’, I’ve done a tad bit of reading and brushing up on them. i’ve read that it is said that they were the terror of the Susquehanna River from just over what is now the border of New York, all the way down to here in the Pine Creek Valley of PA and maybe farther south, though there is not a whole lot of information on the Susquehannock, as I’ve read that stated alot. Although, the bit of historical facts and findings that I have come across in my piecing on and of these things, I had read that through the course of many events, the remaining Susquehannocks were assimilated into the local and varying PA tribes, lived peaceably until some other incident had occured and there was basically a lynching party of sorts and the remaining Susquehannocks were eradicated due to what is said to be a horrific act of wrongful blame.
    I have been searching for several years as to which and where these native ties come into my line. My Grandparents have long since passed. My Dad has long since passed (1998), an aunt has passed. My Uncle Kenny had given me some good information and a few folks to get in touch with, though it’s been 2 years and I have yet to do so, but I’ve been searching for so long and I fear that those that may most certainly have known, sadly, they are no longer able to pass this information on either. About a week or so ago, I had seen for the first time a picture of Great Grandfather Thomas Augustus. He was standing in front of what looks to be a black Model-A or a Model-T Ford. There was a fella in the vehicle, though his face was not clear as the top half of that man’s face was obstructed by a shadow from the light coming into the window of that old Ford. Great Grandfather T.A. was standing what would be at the left front wheel of the car, some sort of black suit of those times.
    I’ve always been interested in my heritage in it’s entirety. I seem to be a bit of a Heinz 57…or in other terms, a mutt…….
    However, the biggest and most important piece of information I could ever find about my ancestry is to where the native blood comes into my line and of which descent I am of that said line and which wife of which Grandfather of however many greats it was. I thought I had it pin pointed, though, through reading posts here on this site, I feel I may be incorrect, yet again, and once again, a bit lost in the shuffle, as I was in my life, mostly. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been a bit forgotten, but there’s things that I have not forgotten, like that image. A very beautiful native woman, kneeling in front of whom I was told was her father. A very large individual with a head-dress. What looked to be a TP in the background, though only a bit of it in view, and what I would believe to be a fire pit with some sort of tripod to hang something on over top of the fire. I was told the woman, was which ever great…grandmother. I was told this by Grammy Edna, I’m going to say when I was no older than 7, maybe even a bit younger, though of which age I was, I cannot recall, but I remember that image. I was completely astounded and baffled…..I cannot find anyone in the family who can recall ever seeing this image….But I remember it as if it were that first time I’d seen it so many years ago…..
    I’ve many, many questions and I’ve found very few answers. I feel stuck on this issue like it may never get answered…..and that is a bit of a heavy burden, as it has been for a great number of years. It’s very plain to see and very obvious there is native heritage when you look at me, though I’m sure it has mostly dwindled over the generations, which I don’t care to hear of the dwindling of such. If it has dwindled as much as I’m told it probably has dwindled as far as this native heritage, I’d be hard pressed to believe, as I’ve been for years…..there’s no denying my features, for sure.
    I’ve not had the opportunity, as I’ve stated, to spend much time with my Dad’s side of the family. I don’t even know half of my extended family (my 3 Uncle’s kids). Not even sure they know who I am….There again, sometimes I feel as though I’ve been forgotten by the family. It’s a bit of a struggle, though I maintain communication with the few that care to do the same. Something I’ve longed for all of my life. I’m the spitting image of my Dad and my kid, my Dad’s only Grandson, though he also has 4 granddaughters to my older brother Rick (also adopted out to a Rupert), my kid is the spitting image of me, when I was his age….There’s a long history with me, though I wish the vast majority of that was with my own family…..there’s a good bit of hardship there…..I do hope someone has some sort of information on these things….I’d love to know them….Not sure if anyone can clarify the things I’ve been told, though I’m hoping for something….anything……thanks a bunch in advance and much hope…..C.

    • It would be great to find that picture that you were shown by your grandma. It might help us all track the native American thread in our blood line. We of the Boatman family are all mutts of a sort Cody and we have much in common through those varied lines. Keep searching – it will raise more questions I’m sure but it will ultimately bring some clarity. offers a DNA test (for a fee). Somewhere along this road we should try it and see what it tells us.

      • Just a thought, but if anyone is interested in taking the DNA tests, I’d be happy to add a page and compile the results here.

        I’m guessing that perhaps all of you would like to add or use a Boatman site as your primary, but I think it would be great to have just Claudius’ lines in one place, too…

        “Man Up” Guys! The female DNA just won’t tell us what we’d like to know!

    • Hi Cody,I just want you to know you are not forgotten..I was telling Marty about my Mother showing you the picture,and all of a sudden I could see the picture…I`m not sure it was our family..when you draw it I would be interested to see if it really is the same one that I saw…I love you..Aunt Del…

    • Wow! Hello, Cody! I went to school with your brother Dale! Now, T.A. Boatman had two families: he was first married to Catherine Melinda Shaffer (1878-1902) with whom he had Harvey Boatman, Sr, and my grandfather, Glenn Morris Boatman, Sr. After she passed, he got married to Emma Louise Boatman (sorry, I don’t have her maiden name), but she sadly, passed away in 1939. My Great-Grandmother is buried in Salladasburg; yours is buried in the Jersey Shore Cemetary, at the big stone beside Thomas Augustus. My grandfather (G.M Boatman) and his wife — my grandmother (I.E. Boatman)– are buried on that family plot. My mom –Emalou (born in 1940, not that long after your great-grandmother’s death) — was named after Thomas’ second wife, Emma Louise. I also have heard about the Native American connection, but cannot find it. I used to have a photo of T.A with Emma and a bunch of their children, including Harvey and Glenn, but I need to find it!! He had a moustache. I do not know who is in possession of the family Bible.

      • Hi Rebecca. I’m Harvey III, grandson of Harvey Senior, brother of Glenn. We used to visit Uncle Glenn and Aunt Inez when I was a child. They lived very basically and I remember the that they still had a dirt floor in the kitchen. Glenn was disabled and passed away when I was very small but Inez lived on for a while after his death. They were grange members with my grandparents (Harvey Sr and Effie Myers Boatman) as well. Claudius Sr was a revolutionary war soldier and I believe the Claudius Jr. was as well. My grandmother Effie Boatman, successfully applied for DAR and SAR membership on the basis of documentation from Claudius Sr’s service. There is still documentation out there for this — Claudius’s daughter Nancy applied for a pension based on Claudius Srs service as well (application was denied because pensions were not transferrable to the offspring of Rev. War soldiers). Who were your parents. Glenn’s daughters used to babysit my sisters and I when we were little; Their son Sam used to work for my grandfather after he lost his leg in the steel mill accident; Glenn’s grandson Steve (son of Tim) was a classmate of mine in grade school.

      • HI, Harvey!
        I am the daughter of the youngest, Emalou. You’re probably very close in age to her,because my mom became an aunt at the age of one, there was such an age difference between the first born and last born. My Gram and grandfather had four daughters, although Bettie Ann died as a toddler. My grandfather got injured when he was putting in electricity somewhere; he was an electrician by trade. They used to live out in the Hollow before they moved into town on Nelson Street. My grandfather died at the age of 44 in 1945. Gram passed away in 1991 at the age of 95.

        Yes, I still have a Grange cookbook that was my Gram’s. She was also a member of the DAR, along with Aunt Effie. Steve was Tim’s step-son; they have both since passed, as well. I remember my Uncle Sam’s wooden leg… he’d say something then knock on his leg while saying, “Knock on wood!”

        I have a photocopy of paper about which you’re talking, somewhere. This is cool.

      • Hi. I’m 68. I believe that Emmalou is a little older than me but I do remember her. Nancy was the primary babysitter but I remember another sister doing it as well. Her name escapes me for the moment. I do remember being somewhat thrilled to have baby sitters that were so pretty! My email is I can send you some pics of Harvey Sr and I believe your grandfather may be in a couple of them. I was fortunate enough to know Thomas A – he passed away when I was about 10 or 11. He was living with my Grandparents at the time – in a little two room house behind the their Gas Station, with his two dogs, Pug and mug and his road island red chickens. I have is old shotgun — he taught me how to hut rabbits with that old gun- a story for another time. I think it was the Nelson street house where I visited with your grandparents. I have one memory of sitting on Glenn’s lap on an old rocking chair in their kitchen next to the coal cook stove. It must have been just before he died and I was just an infant so the memory might have been formed from a story I was told by my grandmother or by Aunt Inez. My sister Pat lives in Salona PA. She is 72 and my dad’s brother Clair lives in Allentown. He is 90 and still jumping out of airplanes (he was a paratrooper in WW2 – one of the first soldiers into Japan after the bombs were dropped).

      • Oh, wow! My mom was born in 1940, Nancy in 1938, and Jane in 1936. Jane passed away, too. It’s just my mother and Nancy left of my Gram and Grandfather’s children. Since you’re only 68, could it have been my cousin Lee who held you? He was born in 1934 and passed away when he was a teenager, I think he was thirteen. It was something about the lungs,,, something medicines can fix with no problem, now.

        OH, wow,,, that is so fascinating about Uncle Clair! God bless him! I know a LOT of Boatmans served in WWII — a bunch of TA’s sons served, as did my uncle Tim, Sam and Bill. Bill lost his life in WWII.

        Did you ever notice all of the BILL’S in this family? 🙂

      • Lots of “Bill” relatives for sure. I don’t think it was the cousin who held me as it was definitely an older man – anyhow, there is an overlap somewhere subject to the fragilities of memory and family stories. Perhaps it was the essence of Uncle Glenn and the reminiscing that was going on when we were there. It must have been shortly after his passing. Jane was the other sister that babysat for us — thanks for bringing up the name. Where do you live? It would be fun to connect when I get down to Jersey Shore again to visit my sister (actually she lives up by Lock Haven but I still feel like I’m coming to JS).

  9. I’m not familiar with any male Boatman who’s taken the DNA test – but I’d be very curious if anyone has and what they know! I see the tests on ancestry and they have specials now and then. My guess: They’ll have some sort of big special for Father’s day…

    By the way, I’ve never heard any indication of any Native American ancestry in my line of the Boatman family, which doesn’t mean it isn’t so, necessarily, but it’s something that most families seem to pass down stories about. My line is Claudius’ daughter, Mary “Polly” Boatman m to Comfort Wanzer.

    One thing I do know is that doing family history is a great way to reach out to relatives – even those you don’t know or have never met, and it’s an especially good reason to hook up with those we’ve lost touch with! I’d urge you not to wait; our futures are never certain, and having been adopted, you have a particularly good reason to want to know more!

  10. Yes – we have thought of and thanked our Revolutionary War grandfathers today – including Claudius!

    Harvey (Boatman) and I will be going to PA in August and are looking forward to exploring the Buffalo Valley,PA area where Claudius settled after New Rochelle, NY and before Jersey Mills, PA. If anyone is familiar with the Buffalo Valley area and has leads for us that would be appreciated. We will be more than willing to share pictures and other info we unearth.
    Happy Hunting,

    • Also, Dale, if you wouldn’t mind and time permits, would you look out for any mention of Comfort Wanzer as well? I’d really appreciate it. It seems he pretty much threw in with Claudius, but there may be something…

  11. Wonderful, Dale! You gave such good reports about your visit to Lycoming county, I can’t wait to see what you’ll unearth about this area.

    Make sure to take lots of pictures!

    I’m very curious about this “plantation” that Claudius lived on or near at one time and if his home still survives, and whether or not it is in the same place as the 300 acres he bought. And also very curious if Claudius was one of the “squatters” or not. I suppose that would depend on where he lived.

    • Hi Kate, I guess I approved your message, and yet never replied to you! How rude of me. Welcome, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 Wondering if you have any other information, tales, speculation to share with us?

  12. Claudius Boatman is my 4th Great Grandfather. I am Patrick Alan Servey and my Father is Joseph William Servey Sr. (1919-1975); His Father was Jospeh Thomas Servey (1892-1969); His Father was Joseph Matthew Servey (B.?-D.?)and his Mother was Nancy Kathryn Boatman (1867-Dec. 11,1922); Daughter of Thomas Mchurter Boatman (1830-1888) and Mother was Barbara Emma Miller (1832-1906); His Father was William Boatman (1787-1849) and Mother was Nancy Agnes Cole (1788-1868); William’s father was Claudius Gloude Boatman and mother Esther Callaham (1729-1809)

    • Hi Patrick, sorry for the delay in answering! I had wanted to take a look at your tree 🙂 because I’m a snoop – lol, really I just love figuring out where the Boatman cousins all fit in, and I didn’t have anything on your branch beyond Nancy Kathryn Boatman. Very interesting because Joseph Matthew and Nancy Kathryn moved to Illinois and then back to Pennsylvania!

      So, any interesting stories to share from your branch regarding Claudius, Esther, William and Nancy?

  13. This has been so much fun to discover and read through. Claudius is my 7 x’s GGrandfather. I come through the James English, Jane Boatman line. I recently visited Jersey Mills and visited the grave-site of James English. It is said that Jane is buried beside him but she has no marker. I wish I could prove she is there, I would like to her have a marker. We visited several grave-sites in the area where it was rumored that Claudius’s headstone was. We visited the cemetery in Waterville, English Mills, and Lower English Center. We never found any Boatman headstones which we found odd. We had also read that Claudius was buried on English Island (Sugar Island). There are 3 islands in the middle of Pine Creek that we were told are privately owned and only seem to be accessible by kayak or canoe. I’ve read that Claudius and Ester are buried there along with Comfort Wanzer and Thomas Ramsey, John English, and others. I hope to return soon with our kayak to see if I can locate any headstones on one of the islands. At one time an old Civil War veteran lived on the island and took care of the little cemetery. There was also a DAR dedication of the memorial grave marker placed for Claudius on the island which was quite the gathering.

    • Hi Susan! You’ve probably discovered my page on death and burial by now, which goes on a bit about just this problem with the graves! I’d be very interested in your discoveries, so maybe you’ll share your photos? There are a lot of graves in that island cemetery that aren’t fully documented, at least in any free site! I recently entered a lot of them into find a grave from Rhoda English Ladd’s transcription of the cemetery, and I’d love to have photos. She admits she had difficulty with the headstones, covered by brush and was told there were snakes there, so she tried to get what she could. The three islands I think you’re talking about at the time were called English Island, Boatman Island and Wanzer Island, the graves on the largest. I’d love to have any photos you can get of the area, if you’d be so kind! It would be great to have someone document how to get there with a map, so those that haven’t found them are able to do so – people ask that question here, and I haven’t been there!

      I’m so glad you found the site!

  14. Please explain the dates of Claudius’ marriages to Marie and to Esther. Or, are they the same person? I’ve seen many records from Lycoming County, PA with the children of Claudius having Esther as their mother. I’m the daughter of Stanley Bastion, who’s grandmother was Nancy Jane Boatman.

    • Hi Susan! I don’t believe I’ve talked to anyone from your branch of the family. I do have you great-grandmother, Nancy Jane married to George Washington Bastion. While you’re here, perhaps you might clarify some information for me, too. I was curious as to when George passed away and where he is laid to rest.

      I’m afraid I missed the notification of your comment, here, so I apologize for the tardiness of my reply. I’m the first to admit there is very little documentation that I know of for the actual dates and names for the wives of Claudius Boatman. I think it has always been “assumed” that Marie was the first wife because of the documentation on the baptism of Margaret, born about 1752 in New York. Then, during the Revolution, when the massacre occurred in which Rebecca was scalped (if that was the true story) it states Mrs. Boatman was killed. There are other reports, contemporary ones that indicate Claudius Boatman’s wife was Esther. So the assumption is that Marie was the first wife, Esther the second. and

      Genealogists always like to look for at least three good records to verify information, and other than that, look for a preponderance of information. I’m afraid, although we’re lucky to have so many records of Claudius, when some families have so little information on their ancestors, there is a lot of information here stitched together from what records I could find, what stories I’ve heard as well as research from family historians long gone. I’ve documented what/where I could, and tried to point out what areas are subjective and open to interpretation.

      I hope that helps! I’d be very interested in hearing any tales passed down your family as well as any records you may have found that might help clarify, prove, or even disprove anything here! I’m always hoping for more information, even if it goes contrary to my assumptions!

  15. Anyone else related to this line through Elizabeth Wanzer, daughter of Comfort and Mary Boatman Wanzer, and granddaughter of Claudius Boatman, Sr? Elizabeth and her husband, Rice Hamlin, were the parents of Joanna, who married Matthew Morrison in Warren Co, PA.
    Joanna and Matthew moved to Henry Co, Iowa, in 1838, and after living there for about 12 years, packed up their family and headed to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. They were among the early travellers along the Oregon Trail, arriving in Marion Co, OR, in 1851. Joanna and Matthew are my husband’s 3rd great-grandparents.
    From Joanna and Matthew through their descendants, I have great documentation. For Joanna’s ancestors, I have only what I’ve found online, as we live in Texas.
    Thanks for your very nice website.

    • Hello Reverend, and welcome! And thank you!

      You are certainly in good company as I have found the Claudius’ line, and the Hamlin line simply rife with Reverends, if you’ll excuse the alliteration, including my great, great grandfather, Jacob Hamlin, brother to Joanna.

      I am particularly interested in some information I’ve found online that gives Joanna’s middle name as Hubbard, as I think that could possibly be a clue to ancestry on the Hamlin/Wanzer lines.

      There is a lot of speculation on the Wanzer/Hamlin lines, some of which very well may be true and other information which seems to have no more basis than wishful thinking.

  16. Hello everyone. I am new to all of this. I, too, come from the Claudis Boatman line. Someone many posts above mentioned Carl’s younger brother, Roscoe. He is my great grandfather. Have any of the women posting joined the DAR. My intention was to do some research and try to join the DAR. It appears that so many others are many moons ahead of me. I am overwhelmed at all this information and I have barely started. Thank you.

    • My Grandmother, Effie Myers Boatman, was a member. She also submitted applications for other’s in the direct Boatman line and those confirmed applications are available on the DAR records site.

  17. Claudius Boatman is my 4th great grandfather. I have been doing family research for over 10 years and I’m always looking for more information and pictures.

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